ok, let’s start…

OK. Let’s start. I’m writing this blog for several reasons. First, I teach public relations at Kent State University. We’re trying to teach our students how to use “social media,” while being expert in writing and strategic thinking as it relates to public relations. I can’t teach something that I don’t know about. So let’s give it a try.

Second, I’m inspired by my friend and Kent State colleague Bill Sledzik. Bill has been blogging now for more than a year. And his blog, toughsledding, is one of the best. Trust me. I’ve read many of the public relations blogs. Bill combines the best of both worlds: he is an excellent educator and an experienced PR practitioner. If you want to read a thoughtful, insightful blog about public relations and how it affects our lives, read Bill’s. By comparison, I’m sure mine will be viewed as blog lite.

But saying that, I do have something to say. I was a senior manager (corporate communications and for a few years human resources) at a Fortune 500 company. I operated my own public relations business. And now I teach public relations and supervise students in a student-run public relations agency. I’ll talk more about Flash Communications later; it really is a program that helps our students succeed.

Through the years I have been fortunate to have many mentors. Hank Wardle and Tony Massi in the 1960s and 1970s were innovators and advocates of employee communications long before that became fashionable. John Ong, BFGoodrich’s longtime CEO and more recently U.S. Ambassador to Norway, was the most ethical executive you could imagine or ever hope to work for. He shaped my view that it really is possible to make difficult decisions while still doing the right thing. And Jim Griffith, who joined Goodrich in the late 1980s from Pepsi. He always told me that he took the job seriously – but he didn’t take himself very seriously. I gained a lot from all of them – and I take public relations seriously, but not myself. I’ll try to maintain that spirit as we look at pr on the run.

Welcome to my blog.

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10 responses to “ok, let’s start…

  1. I love it pops! It looks like you are getting in some tough miles in that picture, but without a wheel no one can be sure of the distance. Remember, your blog will be just like mine if you only write on it a few times a year, and you don’t want that.

    Good night, and good luck.

    B.M. Jewell

  2. Dad–I’m so proud of you. If you can generate more miles than a network pundit on this thing, you’ll be righter than rain. I’m thrilled to welcome you to the blog-o-sphere. I love you.

  3. Rob,

    I couldn’t be more thrilled about your decision to become a blogger! Now, I can continue to learn from you even though I’m two hours away and out of school. YES! Makes my Monday! 🙂 I’ll spread the word about your blogging breakout. I’m sure my former classmates will also be eager readers. I look forward to your future posts. Can’t wait! Happy Holidays.

    Carli

  4. Rob –

    Glad to see that you’re blogging too! Reading Bill’s blog (and now yours) helps me feel like I’m still connected to KSU – even though I’m surrounded by Cheeseheads! Can’t wait to read more.

  5. Carli and Beth,

    Hi. I am so glad that you found my blog and took the time to comment. One of the reasons that I am doing this is to keep in touch with the many young professionals who have left PRKent and are now beginning their successful careers. I hope you and others will comment often. I really do value your perspective on public relations and the real-world challenges you are facing and the successes you are having. So I am looking forward to your comments. And I hope other graduates of PRKent will join in as well, along with the many thousands of others out there who have an interest in public relations.

  6. Rob,

    This looks great! I’m glad you decided to join the blogosphere – Olivia and I had a blast maintaining our blogs last semester. I’m looking forward to reading your posts. Have a restful holiday!

  7. Rob,
    I found your blog today (thanks to Kait Swanson) and I am so excited. Congratulations and welcome to the blogging world! I am looking forward to reading your future posts.

  8. Rob,

    Sorry to chime in so late. I been, well, on the run.

    Welcome to the club and to this wonderful ball and chain know as “your own blog.” Blogging has opened a lot of doors and introduced me to some wonderful people. It’s triggered some interesting conversations while also helping to create a much higher profile for our program here at Kent State. But it brings with it a burden to create content and to engage others in discussion of theirs. It does not manufacture additional time in which to do this.

    It’s great that we old guys are now players in social media, but also that we have enough perspective to know that social media is just one more tool, and not an entirely new practice model as some believe. Todd Defren, a thought leader in social media and marketing, calls it not a “revolution,” but an evolution of the business along with the technology. That works for me.

    Here’s a link to Todd’s post: http://www.pr-squared.com/2007/12/marketing_its_evolution_not_re.html

    Good luck, but you’re straining these 54-year-old eyes with the reverse type. There’s still time to pick another template!

  9. Bill,

    Thanks for your welcome and comments. I agree. Social media is just one more tool. But it’s one that we need to understand.

    And I like the dark template. I do most of my running in the dark, in the very early mornings. Besides, if I can read it OK you should be able to. You’re just a kid compared to me.

  10. Rob – I found your blog a bit later than most, but Congratulations nonetheless!

    This is a wonderful Christmas present to all PRKent Students and Alum!!! As Carli said, I’m very excited that I will be able to hear your thoughts on PR even thought I’m long gone from the chairs of Flash Communications.

    Good luck!!! I will for sure be keeping this blog in my favorites and adding it to my morning routine!

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